It’s the Big Ten championship game no one asked for, but some may have secretly wanted.

Iowa vs. Michigan is an oasis for fans craving something different. The Wolverines may have 42 Big Ten titles to their name, but none since 2004. It’s been the same amount of time for Iowa, which shared the conference title with the Wolverines that year.

So what should we expect from this unexpected championship pairing?

Here are my first impressions of the matchup:

Tyler Goodson needs to ball out

At a basic level, this reminds me of how Iowa matched up with Wisconsin. As Hawkeyes fans recall, that is not a good thing.

Iowa’s offense has issues, ranking 12th in the league in yards per play. Michigan’s defense is 4th in the same category, though a lot of that is on the strength of a pass defense led by dynamic ends Aidan Hutchinson and David Ojabo. The Wolverines are 7th in the B1G against the run, though the majority of that gashing was done by Michigan State’s Kenneth Walker III.

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Tyler Goodson isn’t quite at Walker’s level, but he and the Iowa offensive line have been cooking lately. He had 141 yards against Northwestern, 132 against Illinois and 156 against Nebraska.

Wisconsin limited Goodson to 27 yards on 13 carries, taking advantage of a 20-0 halftime lead to make Iowa’s running game totally irrelevant.

Michigan needs to show up in the first half

This is going to be a challenge after the program’s biggest win in a decade. An incredible amount of emotion was left on the field at Michigan Stadium. Can it be rebottled?

That’s Jim Harbaugh’s biggest challenge this week. In terms of scheme and talent, his team has the edge. But it’s always hard to outwork the Hawkeyes, and especially under these circumstances.

Look no further than Iowa, which rose to No. 2 in the country after an emotional win over Penn State only to get rolled by Purdue the next week. Or Ohio State, which looked like world beaters against Michigan State only to get socked in the jaw by Michigan on the opening drive of its next game.

Michigan has the perfect formula to beat Iowa

Iowa feasts on the erroneous, ranking 3rd nationally in turnover margin (plus-16) and takeaways (28).

Unfortunately for the Hawkeyes, Michigan’s greatest offensive strength this season has been keeping itself out of trouble. The Wolverines are tied for the Big Ten lead and are 6th in the country with just 9 turnovers.

Quarterback Cade McNamara threw a pretty bad goal-line interception against Ohio State with his team attempting to go up 14-0 in the first quarter, so that figures to be a point of emphasis in Michigan practices this week.

The West has never won

Footnote, or reflection of imbalance?

Since the Big Ten ditched the Leaders and Legends divisions for the geographic East and West split, the West champion is 0-7 in the Big Ten championship game. Granted, Ohio State is responsible for 5 of the East’s 7 wins, so that’s not necessarily a “divisional” thing.

But history doesn’t favor the Hawks here.